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Clarion Clarion album cover
3.51 | 13 ratings | 2 reviews | 8% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1993

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Elf (3:53)
2. Reverie (4:09)
3. Chico Mendes (3:39)
4. Canzone del mare (3:23)
5. Riflessioni (8:36)
6. Viviana (2:56)
7. Oriana (3:46)
8. Endlich (4:06)
9. Orgelwaltz (3:09)

Total Time: 37:40

Line-up / Musicians

- Paolo Clari / organ, electric piano (2, 4, 7), synthesizers, church organ
- Gianni Cristiani / flute, piccolo

Also featuring ZAUBER:
- Liliana Bodini / vocals (4)
- Massimo Cavagliato / drums
- Mauro Cavagliato / bass, electric piano (2), glockenspiel
- Oscar Giordanino / electric piano, harpsichord

- Claudio Bianco / electronic strings, background keyboards (2, 6, 8)

Releases information

Recorded in 1992, except track 9 (1977)

CD Mellow Records MMP 142 (1993)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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CLARION Clarion ratings distribution

(13 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CLARION Clarion reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars This is a pleasant Italian duo with a very romantic approach to prog. Their debut album showcases strong classical and jazz inflected flute and plenty of keyboards. The credits show no guitars, but I didn't miss them, because flutes often take the lead. Having said that, "Reverie" sounds like it has some electric guitar or at least electric violin! Other atypical keyboards like harpsichord also feature.

Vocals are only included on one track, "Chico Mendes", but are gracefully handled by Liliana Bodini.

This is more an album to quietly meditate to or float away on, especially so in the synthesizer dominated first part of "Canzone del mare " which eventually transforms into a retro organ solo with an element of swing that is as fun to listen to as it probably was to play. This is followed by an almost Caravan-style segment a la Land of Grey and Pink.

The main criticism of the album is that, while it might be considered progressive, for the most part it is not rock. Nothing is really jarring or abrupt here. While it takes many cues from its 1970s progenitors, it strips away anything offensive from those influences, which means it takes fewer risks, and produces fewer major rewards than it might have. Put another way, Clarion suffers some of the pitfalls of the new age genre. This happens even more in the latter pieces on the album, making "Oriana" and "Endlich" weaker. Still, if you approach with eyes wide open the minor paybacks are frequent and worthwhile.

Recommended only to fans of mellow prog and/or people who appreciate good playing which doesn't necessarily ignite flames.

Review by NotAProghead
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions Team
4 stars Elegant

I have no idea why ZAUBER flautist Gianni Cristiani and keyboardist Paolo Clari, with the help of their bandmates, decided to start a new project, CLARION. Both bands are similar in style, the same musicians are involved, most pieces are written by ZAUBER members Mauro Cavagliato and Boris Poziakov (by the way, strange name for an Italian, perhaps he has some Russian roots, but I could not find any information of him). We may only guess why CLARION was born, but it happened and definitely not in vain - their music is full of grace and beauty.

CLARION debut album is almost pure instrumental work. There are no electric or acoustic guitars, but the sound is rich and the absence of guitars is unnoticeable. Flute and keyboards (organ, electric piano, synthesizers) are omnipresent, glockenspiel (metalophone) and harpsichord add nice colors at times, bass often plays melodic lines and, together with drums, strengthens the overall sound. Most pieces are inspired by classical, particularly baroque, music, there are also hints of jazz. The longest track, ''Rifflessioni'' (8 minutes) starts and ends as bolero, while its middle part has spacey feel.

Music is melancholic, heartfelt and full of light. Turn on your imagination and it will carry you away to some beautiful places: a sea shore (''Canzone del mare'') or an old park in the autumn, where yellow leaves are almost transparent in the sunlight (''Viviana'', my favourite piece on the album). ''Canzone del mare'' is the only vocal track, pretty simple (because even I understand it - something like ''You sing your sad song to the sea, but the sea is too big and does not hear you''), but nice. Pleasant voice of Liliana Bodini is recorded with a slight echo effect, giving you the feel of almost physical presence by the sea.

I listen to CLARION debut album quite often, but rarely look at linear notes. Now, before writing this review, I looked at the booklet and was surprised: some pieces were wriiten for theatre and rock-opera and were not initially intended for this album; the last track, ''Orgelwaltz'', was recorded in some Turin church in 1977. Despite this the album is coherent, pieces flow naturally one into another.

Very accessible album, but far from being 'music for elevators', compositions have depth. Good for listening in the background, when you are busy with something else, and good for careful listens. Highly recommended if you like CELESTE, ZAUBER (obviously), HOSTSONATEN, softer PFM songs or instrumental pieces from ''Jethro Tull Christmas Album''. Fans of ''Palepoli'' by OSANNA will probably call it too safe and cheesy. But if you are ''going slightly mad'', hold a ticket to hell (IL BIGLIETTO PER INFERNO) in your hand and are already close to destination, if death from IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO's ''Ys'' walks behind you, take a breath of fresh air in CLARION music. It will remind you once again: life is beautiful.

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